Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
Agriculture Secretary Gary Black, left, and Gov. Brian Kemp address farmers Tuesday night at the UGA Tifton Conference Center in Tifton.
Federal and state officials Tuesday night told farmers in Tifton that hurricane disaster relief for South Georgia farmers will be coming eventually .

Gov. Brian Kemp  and state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black attended the meeting at the University of Georgia Tifton campus , and U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue , and Congressmen Austin Scott and Sanford Bishop , joined via video conference from Washington, D.C.

The Ag Disaster Funding Update was hosted by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Kemp said he would sign proposed state legislation adding $18 million to a loan program for farmers hit hard by Hurricane Michael and another $2 million for damaged rural hospitals . This would be in addition to the $470 million in aid the General Assembly previously has approved .

Farmers and agriculture officials are frustrated about the delays in disaster aid on the federal level . In South and Middle Georgia, farmers and rural communities are still awaiting federal assistance to aid in damages to property, crops, public infrastructure and utilities caused by Hurricane Michael .

"I voted against the government funding bill for its failure to provide this much-needed federal assistance . This lack of funding came after months of assurances from congressional leadership that such funding would be included in the spending bill," said Scott , R-Tifton.

"While I remain frustrated that many of my colleagues in Congress have yet to prioritize assistance , I am very thankful that we are making headway ."

As reported by UGA Extension agents and agricultural economists , Hurricane Michael caused more than $2.5 billion in losses to Georgia's agricultural industry . Georgia’s vegetable industry alone suffered more than $480 million in direct losses .
(and music & BBQ)
Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival was a big success Saturday as the expected rain held off and throngs of folks came out to sample barbecue and other delights while enjoying the entertainment that continued into the evening . The annual event filled Fulwood Park .
Children had fun climbing, jumping and playing in the "Kids Zone" area of Fulwood Park during Saturday's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival, while others visited the many vendors offering a variety of unique items.
Ameris Bank Market President Tommy Bargeron has announced his retirement , and Josh Bowen will succeed him as the new president for the Tifton market
Having served more than 40 years in the financial services industry, Bargeron will retire effective March 31 . Bowen i s assuming the role of market president , responsible for all core-banking activities .
Bargeron has served as Tifton market president since 2012 and has been instrumental to the market’s growth and success, Ameris said. Before joining Ameris Bank , he served in leadership roles at various financial institutions in Tifton , including Citizens Security Bank, SunTrust Bank, Great Southern Federal Savings Bank and Tifton Federal .
Bargeron has been recognized as one of Tifton’s community leaders , serving on a variety of community and civic boards, including Tifton-Tift County Public Library, City of Tifton Board of Zoning Appeals, Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation, Tifton Sertoma Club, Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, Tifton Rotary Club and is an active member at First United Methodist Church.
Bowen , a Tifton native, has more than 11 years of experience in the banking industry, with the last six years at Ameris Bank . He most recently served as a vice president and commercial lender in the bank’s Tifton market . He is a graduate of the Georgia Banking School at the University of Georgia, Georgia Southwestern State University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. 
Bowen is an active community supporter and is involved in organizations including the Tifton Sertoma Club . He is looking forward to relocating to Tifton with his wife, Kaley , and their two boys. Bowen and his family are active members of First Baptist Church of Sylvester.  
An open house reception will be held for the community to celebrate Bargeron's retirement and to welcome Bowen to his new role. The reception will be 4-6 p.m. March 21 at Ameris Bank's Tifton Main Branch , 735 West Second St.
Jeffrey Murray, Craig Mark Wells, Ricky Day and Corey Douglas are seen in dress rehearsals for "The Tempest," which will be staged by the Baldwin Players at 7 p.m. March 7-9 in Howard Auditorium at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College . Dr. Brian Ray directs the production.
OASIS Recovery Community Organization
902 S. Main St., Tifton
Feb. 28

Enthusiasts of Lily Payne ’s iconic art and historic renovations can enjoy the fusion 1-5 p.m. , Saturday, March 9 , at an Open House for the unveiling of the little red shotgun house at 111 4th Street , said Liz Carson Keith , developer of the 4th Street project.

“This renovation has excited the historic neighborhood , so we want to give the town a chance to view it , and I thought that while we were at it we could enjoy some really great art , too,” Keith said.

The shotgun house has undergone a complete interior gutting, she said.

“It had been chopped up into lots of little rooms that didn’t make much sense. The rooms didn’t flow , and there were layers of flooring and walls that were nailed over each other. We had lots of bad wiring and plumbing . We knew we would have to tear out much of what was there,” she said.

“Fortunately, I have a contractor that can visualize flow patterns and how things can fit together well.”

Keith’s contractor, Jerry Taylor of Taylor Construction , has worked with her on several previous projects that involve renovation .

“We work well together since we respect each other’s ideas, and we understand that flexibility is paramount when we start a renovation,” she said.

The project was unusual since it also has a basement which is rare in Coastal Plain construction.

“The 1930s house was constructed on the side of a hill so that allowed for a basement, but the ceiling was not high enough to create legal bedrooms there. We exerted a good deal of effort to divert water and seal the basement so we could create a laundry and second bath there. It has a good bonus room there, too, and all the storage you could need.”

The one-bedroom house features an open plan with granite countertops in the kitchen and upscale appliances .

“We were thrilled to save the shiplap walls in the living room ,” Keith said. “That was a real find that we weren’t expecting.”

Lily Payne , Keith’s niece , is an award-winning landscape artist in Dahlonega who incorporates rich textures and movement into her paintings , giving each scene vibrancy and emotion . Payne uses color to charge our moods .

She learned the importance of surrounding herself with positivity as a behavioral modification coach during her 20-year health and fitness career . She carries this feeling through into each of her original pieces to motivate and inspire with freedom, color, texture, and movement.

Her style by choice is Open Impressionism , a style which she says gives her the ability to express herself through her paintings . Studying the methods of many other award-winning artists has inspired Payne to create beauty with passion .
For more information , contact Liz Carson Keith at 229-339-0500 .
TCHS student Sydney Doss receives a $500 tuition grant
to ABAC from Enrollment Counselor Ashlyn Bates.
Sydney Doss , a senior at Tift County High School , won a $500 tuition grant at the recent Stallion Scholars Forum at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .  

The event was by invitation only and gave high-achieving high school students from across Georgia and surrounding states an opportunity to see the scale and variety of academic programs available at ABAC . Student Engagement Programs ( STEPS ) and bachelor’s degree programs at ABAC were the focus of the evening.

A total of 48 high school students attended the recent forum.

Chris Brubeck , left, with his trio Triple Play performed Sunday with the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the Tift County High Performing Arts Center (PAC) as part of the ABAC Presents! arts series.

The lively concert included some classical pieces as well as jazz and "jazz fusion." Brubeck performed some original works as well as some by his late father, noted jazz artist Dave Brubeck .

Beta Club students at G.O. Bailey Elementary School spent Saturday morning volunteering with the “Peanut Butter and Jesus” community outreach. The students helped pack more than 1,300 lunch sacks to feed community children. Teacher and club sponsor Savannah Harvin and teacher Marisol Griffis accompanied the students .
Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC , Tifton, Georgia